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J Coyle Haulage quashes TC’s decision

  • 23 June 2009
  • By Mike Jewell

The Transport Tribunal has quashed a Traffic Commissioner’s decision to revoke a haulier’s licence and issue a disqualification order because of fraudulent contracts. South Eastern Metropolitan Traffic Commissioner Philip Brown had revoked the licence of J Coyle Haulage and disqualified director John Coyle from holding or obtaining an O-licence for six months because of fraudulent maintenance contracts.

The Greenford-based company held a licence for three vehicles and three trailers. It had been called before the TC following information passed from the Metropolitan Police that its maintenance contracts with Kelly Transport, of Watford, and J Callanan Repairs and Services might not be genuine.

Coyle accepted that the purported contract with Kelly Transport, signed by a P Kelly, was a false document. He alleged that the document had been altered by transport consultant John Plum, also known as Plumridge, without his knowledge.

However, the TC believed that Coyle had been involved in the production of documents which were false. (‘ Maintenance provider was an ‘invention’, CM 19 March).

The Tribunal said it was clear that Plum had added the name of Kelly Transport to the contract with J Callanan, so the name ‘P Kelly’ could be added to PMI sheets for work by Callanan. Plum had used an embosser to impress the name Kelly Transport on to a number of documents.

Coyle had terminated Plum’s services as soon as the matter came to light. The embossed stamp of Kelly Transport was not easily visible because it had no colour. ‘Therefore, it was entirely possible that Coyle would not notice at that stage. The fact that he did not was an administrative fault but not necessarily dishonest, especially when Callanan was adamant that he alone did the work from 2002 until 2009.

They did not consider that the company deserved revocation of its licence or that there was any basis for disqualification.

A warning would have been enough

A failure to check work by a temporary employee will earn a TC’s disapproval, but the Tribunal felt a warning would have sufficed for the shortcomings, which they considered relatively minor.


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